One of the most well-liked vacation spots in the region is Neptune Beach, a beachside community in Duval County that is situated east of Jacksonville along the northern part of Florida’s Atlantic coast.
Because of Neptune Beach’s seaside setting, abundant urban area, state and national parks, and wildlife preserves, tourists have access to a wide range of recreational options.
In addition, the region is well-known for its excellent dining and hotel options, plethora of fairs and festivals, and consistently good weather.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Neptune Beach, Florida.
- 1. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
- 2. Riverside Arts Market
- 3. Kingsley Plantation
- 4. Comedy Zone of Jacksonville
- 5. Museum of Science & History
- 6. Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
- 7. Beaches Museum
- 8. Amelia Island
- 9. Castaway Island Preserve
- 10. Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
- 11. Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier
- 12. Jax Beach Golf Club
- 13. Jarboe Park
- 14. Cousins Maine Lobster
- 15. BrewHound
1. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Zoos and botanical gardens are perennially well-liked tourist destinations that consistently appeal to both adults and children.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which is only a few miles from the downtown area, is well-known for its walking safaris, which take guests through a variety of exhibits that include exotic African creatures including lions, zebras, and giraffes.
There’s also an on-site splash pad and waterpark, which will make summertime visitors with little children happy. Families frequently spend the greater part of a day inside between the activities and animal exhibits.
2. Riverside Arts Market
Every Saturday, the Riverside Arts Market in Jacksonville is open and brimming with independent local sellers offering a wide range of goods, from fresh veggies and t-shirts to handcrafted jewelry and body care items.
There are hundreds of sellers in the market, and street performers frequently provide a distinct festival vibe that is absent from other markets.
Excellent coffee, delectable sandwiches, and delicious baked goods are among the available food alternatives. Everything is only a short stroll from the river, which is a great location for a stroll after shopping, particularly in the ideal spring and fall weather.
3. Kingsley Plantation
One of the most moving and well-preserved historical monuments in the region is the Kingsley Plantation, which is situated on the grounds of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, just up the coast from Neptune Beach.
Even though the plantation utilized slaves and prospered in the early and mid-19th century, its history is distinct from that of other plantations in the area; at its peak, it covered more than 30,000 acres.
The plantation house, slave quarters, and agricultural structures still stand on the site. There are several historical markers along the routes that link them, informing visitors about the historical significance of the objects they are viewing.
4. Comedy Zone of Jacksonville
For those who enjoy the great outdoors and a keen interest in history, the north Florida coast, particularly the area near Neptune Beach, is a treasure trove of natural beauty and museums. However, there isn’t a better place to go in the evening for people who need a change of scenery and a few good laughs than Jacksonville’s Comedy Zone.
The club’s lineup includes well-known national headliners like Rob Schneider and D.L. Hughley in addition to a plethora of up-and-coming local artists who are frequently just as funny as the big-name acts.
The club’s cozy environment has been praised by prior visitors, who frequently cite it as one of their most memorable travel experiences.
5. Museum of Science & History
Jacksonville is a multicultural city that offers visitors a distinctive range of attractions, many of which are often only found in bigger metropolitan hubs, even though it is not a major city by east coast standards.
Located across the St. Johns River from downtown Jacksonville lies the Museum of Science & History. Even though it’s not the biggest museum in the city, it’s one of the most interesting, and tourists sometimes find themselves spending more time there than they had anticipated.
The human body, local history, art, and technology are just a few of the topics covered in the exhibits, many of which have been created with children in mind.
6. Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, which is situated downtown, is the top attraction for art, culture, and events enthusiasts in North Florida.
The permanent collection of the museum features well-known pieces in a range of media by internationally recognized artists.
A considerable number of locals go the museum many times a year, with some being particularly drawn in by its special events.
Aside from the guest speakers and Christmas parties, popular events include the temporary exhibits from various institutions and independently made movies. Every month on the first Wednesday, there’s an art stroll from 5 to 9 PM if you happen to be around.
7. Beaches Museum
Beaches Museum, a distinctive local attraction in Jacksonville Beach, blends culture, art, and education in a manner that few other places can. It is situated on Beach Boulevard.
The museum routinely hosts a range of performances in addition to a number of interesting exhibitions that touch on science, history, the natural world, and culture.
Among the activities on their schedule are art exhibitions, guest lecturers, and classical music. The team provides a wide range of activities and programs suitable for adults and children with different interests. Popular show tickets tend to sell out fast, so be prepared.
8. Amelia Island
Despite requiring some travel time to reach from Neptune Beach, Amelia Island is a popular sight in north Florida that many visitors decide not to miss.
Amelia Island is the ideal day trip destination, with almost twelve miles of undeveloped white sand beaches, historical sites, and a general small-town charm that sets it apart. Most people wind up staying all day.
With a state park, historical museum, and a range of guided tour and boat choices, it’s ideal for all types of travelers. While there are plenty of places to eat and stay, they are not as cheap as they are elsewhere.
9. Castaway Island Preserve
Nestled in the Intracoastal Waterway, a short distance outside Jacksonville, is the comparatively untouched Castaway Island Preserve, a diverse natural region encompassing tidal streams and salt marshes. It has a way of giving guests the impression that they are physically closer to the city than they actually are.
The preserve spans over 300 acres and features several well-marked multi-use pathways that facilitate self-exploration.
A popular getaway spot for motorcyclists, hikers, and wildlife photographers is the preserve. It’s also a fantastic option for families taking trips with young children who are in desperate need of exercise, open spaces, and fresh air.
10. Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
The first weekend in May is when the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, which is held in Fernandina, a little distance up the coast from Neptune Beach, celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The free fair, which has hundreds of merchants, takes place in the charming downtown area. The festival’s major draw is shrimp, but there are other things to do than eat shellfish, such arts and crafts, live entertainment, and a range of other foods.
If you intend to stay for a night or two during the event, book your accommodations in early since the area hotels tends to fill up quickly.
11. Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier
The glistening seas of the Sunshine State are frequently adorned with striking hues as the sun rises over the Atlantic horizon. The Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier is the ideal location for those who want to see it first thing in the morning.
The pier extends more than 1,200 feet out into the water and is located on 4th Avenue North. It opens at six in the morning to walkers, photographers, and anglers.
Although it’s most known for fishing, there are plenty of stores, restaurants, and bathrooms. Plan on staying a few hours because there’s even live entertainment during the colder months.
12. Jax Beach Golf Club
The adjacent town of Jacksonville Beach owns and operates the municipal Jax Beach Golf Club. For over fifty years, value-conscious golfers have found it to be their preferred destination.
Originally designed as a 9-hole course, it has now expanded to 18 holes and undergone several significant improvements that have enhanced the course’s fairways and greens while removing some water hazards.
In addition to the newly constructed bar and grill and fully equipped pro shop, players appreciate the course’s many par-4 holes and scenic surroundings.
Think about scheduling your tee time in advance if you’ll be playing during busy periods.
13. Jarboe Park
Small municipal parks are fantastic community resources that should be utilized by individuals on a budget who would rather not spend hours in the vehicle commuting to distant parks and preserves. They are sometimes disregarded in favor of more well-known and marketed attractions.
Jarboe Park is a great area for a morning or afternoon walk. It’s a few blocks inland from the shore, just north of Florida Boulevard and west of Route A1A.
The park has a small pond and is easily accessible by foot from well-known downtown hotels. Along the shore, visitors may frequently spot fish, turtles, and birds.
14. Cousins Maine Lobster
There is one location in Neptune Beach where you may taste Maine lobsters, despite the fact that the ocean near coastal Florida is too warm for them.
siblings Though Maine Lobster has only been operating for a year, both tourists and local seafood enthusiasts say that they provide New England classics that are unmatched by other restaurants in the region.
There’s definitely something for everyone, regardless of taste, from grilled cheese to lobster rolls from Maine and Connecticut, and they also have non-seafood alternatives.
Visitors from the Northeast have claimed that Cousins’ rolls are the greatest and most genuine they’ve ever had.
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BrewHound is the best place to go if you love dogs and beer and have a few hours to waste in Neptune Beach.
BrewHound’s concept is straightforward: beer and dogs go along well, especially in Florida, where there are plenty of sunny days to enjoy both outside.
BrewHound is renowned for its dog-centric decor and welcoming personnel. They serve coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks in addition to beer.
For those who want to stay for, long-term memberships are offered, and past visitors have mentioned that dogs of all shapes and sizes get along well there.